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I went to a job interview today.  I WENT TO A JOB INTERVIEW TODAY!

This was a profound experience for me. It went fine. It was SO HARD. I was SO SCARED.

 

After we got married I quit my full time job and became a free-lancer.  Then we had kids and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, it was easy to justify wanting to be a stay at home mom. I was grateful for even having the choice to stay at home. Ron wasn’t comfortable being the sole income provider but he traveled all the time and it was hard to handle his absences.  I was never fully comfortable with leaving my career. I’d been raised by a single mom after my parents divorced and she struggled on her own. She’d always told me to be sure to support myself financially.  I always thought I would do that. But then I married and had babies  and had the cushion of Ron to fall back on. I didn’t really like the work I’d done in the past and lacked direction so it was easier to not go back. Throughout the time I stayed at home I took on occasional consulting assignments. I knew I had to keep my contacts and keep at least slightly tied to the outside of the home working world. 

 

When we moved to Indonesia I thought it would be my big break. I would find work there and gain credibility for when we returned to the US and I re-entered the US full time work world.  Then the plans came crashing down and we left Indonesia when Ron got diagnosed.  I quit my consulting job the day he was diagnosed and didn’t work again until several months after he died.  The work I did after he died was handed to me like a gift by a former boss in the company where Ron and I met.  His boss wanted to help me and spread the word that I needed work.  It was both really hard and also comfortably familiar to work there (I mostly worked from home seldom  needing to show my face in the office).  All these two years, I have known that at some point I would have to go back to work full time. I would have to make a change that would mean leaving the familiar and moving into territory where Ron never was, making plans that I didn’t forsee because Ron was always supposed to be there, cushioning my fall, cheering me on, talking through ideas, giving advice, supporting and loving me through the hard parts. He had encouraged me to take risks and try out a new career and I would make tentative steps to do so but never arrived anywhere. I lacked imagination and I was afraid of failure. I felt a degree of shame at times for leaving the working world. I felt spoiled and privileged. I loved being home with my babies and little children. I wouldn’t take that back.  I just wondered what price I would have to pay for my choices and what that would mean in the future.

 

A job interview. I was so afraid I would be humiliated. I was so afraid they would think poorly of me and the experiences I had. I felt afraid of being judged.  I have been so afraid to move forward with the loss of Ron and to make changes in my life. But the changes are starting. The reality is that they started the moment he died but now they are taking more visible shape and altering the structure that I have clung to of our lives.  My life is changing and it needs to change but it is yet another part of accepting that Ron is dead and that I am a new person and it feels like something is being ripped away from me. And it feels terrifying.

 

I was so scared of sitting in front of a panel of people and having to explain myself and justify my decisions and actions that instead of being happy when I got the call for the interview I cried. I could barely eat in anticipation. I haven’t had this much anxiety since Ron was sick. Ironically (coincidentally?), it is three years ago exactly this week that we were medically evacuated from Jakarta and our lives were in extreme chaos—walking away from our house in Jakarta, emergency medical procedures, no place to live, our belongings in storage or needing to be shipped from Jakarta, withdrawing the kids from international school, re-registering them back in their schools in the US, etc. etc, etc. My anxiety this week was already high from all the sensory triggers. I just wanted Ron so badly. If he were here I still would have been nervous but he would have hugged me and said, “stop worrying, you are going to be fine!”.

So, the interview went fine. They seemed impressed by my experiences. They were friendly and the conversation flowed well. I don’t know if I am the right person for the job or if they will call me back for the next round of interviews.  I don’t care much either way.  I just wanted to have a positive experience and it was.  I am so relieved this first hurdle is over. I survived my first face to face interview.  When I got in the car at first I was happy and relieved and then the tears started and then the sobbing started. I needed to let out some of the tension and I just wanted Ron. I wanted to tell him that I did it. That he would have been proud of me. That I don’t mean to leave him behind by making changes, that I am not leaving him behind but that the time has come for me to make concrete steps to stabilizing our family and for me to figure out what is next in my life. I don't mean to leave him behind. My head knows that he goes where I go but my heart isn't convinced and it hurts. Ron would have been happy for me today. He would have brought me flowers or poured me a glass of wine and he would have been proud.

 When I turned my phone back on after today’s interview and checked my email I found a message from another employer asking me to come in for an interview. No tears this time.  I will be nervous. I still feel scared.

But, I can do it.

 

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Comment by Dave55 on January 5, 2015 at 9:29am

WooHoo Carrie!  That is great news!  Lots of hugs and so glad for you!!!

Comment by MissingRKK on January 5, 2015 at 9:03am

I got a job! I GOT A JOB! How crazy is that? Not either of the ones I mentioned in the blog post but an unexpected one and I start next week. 

I need to spend some time thinking through these past few months -holding on to what I learned and writing about it. What an experience. It was so hard. I cried my way through it at home and then smiled through the interviews.  Thank you, thank you for your support and encouragement. I am grateful to you and the WV community every single day.  <3  HUGS, Carrie

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on October 26, 2014 at 12:59pm
I'm hoping you get this job you'd really like but I do understand your concern about how to fit that into your already overloaded life. Somehow it just happens ... but the thing to remember is you can take a look at things that you're currently doing and maybe decide they don't all HAVE to be done. We get in the habit of doing things a certain way or always doing certain things ... but perhaps they really aren't all that important. You'll figure it out.
Comment by Dave55 on October 23, 2014 at 4:08pm

Hugs missingRKK, for widow brain, I use lists in small notebooks and lots of post-it notes, doesn't fix everything but I'm lost without them.  As for how to do what both of us, Sue and I, used to do what seemed so effortlessly, I'm not sure we can.  I guess I know I'll need to pare back a lot, downsize what I do to the essential tasks and items.  I don't see how else.  unless you have lots of money and can pay to get help for everything.  I also face aging parents, and feel overloaded, I let the garden go, I'm thinking the house is too big, but have to figure out how to deal with all that stuff first.  Someday I just want to get a dumpster!  Sorry if this is sounding more like a dump than helping ideas.  but maybe there's some good ideas in the mess, say that describes my house now!

Comment by MissingRKK on October 23, 2014 at 12:27pm

So I had an interview today with a different employer. What a difference a week makes. I was nervous but not falling apart the way I was before the first interview. Instead of dissolving into tears I am just deeply fatigued. I'd like to land this job more than last  week's job. I won't hear back for at least 2-3 weeks.  So.....baby and big steps being taken.  All that is good but....

I have had it up to my eye balls with  widowed  brain. Introducing all this newness and new stress has made me  a wreck in other areas. yes, I pulled myself together for the interviews but I confused and then missed an appointment for some volunteer work I just got involved with and just now--and the reason I am sitting at the public library writing instead of home with my daughters is that I went to school to pick up my daughter--sat there getting annoyed for 20 minutes as I looked for her. Realized finally that she was not at a club but went to a friend's house to do homework and that she doesn't need to be picked up for another hour. Meanwhile my other daughter needs to be picked up in 20 minutes so it doesn't make sense for me to go home.  I have been doing this a lot lately as my brain has been full of job stress and October memories--missing appointments, mixing up days, having no idea of the date and writing things down wrong. I am fed up. I used to think of myself as this highly competent, organized person.  I want to be that person again and I am just so overloaded that I am just scraping by.  This circles back to the whole job thing. How am I going to manage a full time, out of the house (instead of working at home) job and take care of the kids, house, car, dog, my mom, etc, etc, etc????? I know people figure it out but I am all ears for advice and examples!!!  xxooo

Comment by MissingRKK on October 17, 2014 at 5:09pm

Thank you, Dianne! I love the photo and quote--and of course your support! xxooo

And thanks and hugs to you, too, Joyce! xxooo

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on October 17, 2014 at 9:55am

This is fabulous, Carrie. Such a huge, brave step. Yes, you can do this. Yes, you may still feel nervous and scared, but you've got this. You're ready. And your dear Ron is surely happy and proud ... and right there with you as you walk bravely into this new life. 

Comment by Joyce on October 17, 2014 at 9:03am

What an accomplishment you should be proud.  I know you don't feel brave but you are.  Going outside your comfort is so scary but good for us.  Ron is with you but I totally understand about the "skin hunger".  The first interview is under your belt and the next will be slightly easier.  This whole process is a battle and you will come out as a butterfly.  Hugs!

Comment by MissingRKK on October 17, 2014 at 2:36am

Janet, Barbee, Laurajay and Dave: Thank you, thank you, and thank you for all of your encouragement and support. I have to say that I don't feel so brave most of the time. There has been a lot of internal kicking and screaming and a lot of external crying lately as I drag myself through this process. I can't think of a less cliched way to describe it but it is like the cocoon is coming off and instead of smooth metamorphosis it is a messy battle and if I am lucky I will emerge a rough and battered moth (butterfly would be nice but who am I kidding?).  Finally taking some action and taking some positive steps is making me face a new round of grief, a new acceptance of Ron's death and I both lean into it and am repelled in fits and starts.  Almost no sleep for me last night. Haven't had a night like this in a long time.

Laurajay, yes, the physical presences is so longed for.  Have you heard the term skin hunger? My whole being feels the need to feel Ron's physical presence, I need him on a cellular level. Does that make sense? Yes, beside me. He is beside me and with me and I have been trying to listen for his voice, for what he would have done/said if he were here.

Hugs and love,

Carrie

Comment by Dave55 on October 16, 2014 at 5:32am

Hugs MissingRKK, Janet has it right, WTG!  And you thought I was brave attending Camp so early? You are showing such strength and courage now, I can only hope to do as well as you going forward.  Love and Hope always to you. Dave

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